Microwave Oven Buying Guide for Beginners

Sharp countertop oven on a countertop next to bowls and a jar. - Microwave Oven Buying Guide for Beginners

Whether you’re purchasing a new microwave for your dorm room or because your current microwave oven just reached the end of its lifetime, making the time to research the quality and features of a potential new microwave oven is SO important.

Your microwave oven is an essential appliance in your kitchen, so purchasing a durable model that includes all of the features you want is critical. Luckily, microwave ovens today can do a lot more than just reheat your leftovers or warm a cup of water. In fact, you can create countless recipes in a mug with your microwave quickly and relatively mess-free.

In my opinion, shopping for a microwave oven can be just as complicated as buying an actual oven. Many of the latest Sharp microwave ovens models offer express cooking settings, convection cooking, and even flexible placement options.

If you’re shopping for a new microwave oven, our microwave oven buying guide for beginners should provide some things to consider.

Flexible Installation

Consider where you are going to install your microwave oven. It’s a big decision for such a small appliance. 

Consider flexible installation options - Microwave Oven Buying Guide for Beginners

A Microwave DrawerTM Oven allows you to focus on your kitchen’s design and workflow by offering flexible installation options in an island or peninsula or below your wall oven. Talk about having more design potential in the kitchen, right? Unlike standard, built-in microwave ovens, it opens like a drawer, not a door, and it is packed with technology.

This technology takes the microwave oven off the counter for a smooth and streamlined look. The drawer-layout means a larger opening, so it is easier to reach-in and take food in-and-out.

Plus, you can season dishes without removing them from the oven, which is one of my favorite added benefits.

As it turns out, Sharp has been innovating microwave cooking for decades and holds 11 patents on the Microwave DrawerTM platform alone. All Sharp Microwave Drawers open and close with the touch of a button, but some models include an Easy Wave Open feature, so you can open the microwave when your hands are dirty. You can also give the opened drawer a gentle nudge, and our advanced system compensates for the gentle impact to help prevent spills and smoothly gliding to a closed position.

The Microwave DrawerTM is also exceptionally accessible for anyone that needs to use it from a seated position like wheelchairs or scooters, which is an essential factor when choosing a microwave that is best for your home.

Speed and Convenience

Speed and convenience have always helped microwave ovens earn their place in the home, so pay attention to the time savers when purchasing a microwave. Features like defrost and express cook quickly warm up snacks and take the guesswork out of preparing meals, while sensors can calculate cook time based on the amount of steam the food emits. Buttons that allow you to precisely control timing down to the second can be handy. Most models and brands have a “+30 Sec” key.

However, if you want to set it for 2 minutes, that is still 4 touches. That is the same amount of touches as hitting TIME-2-0-0. Sharp® CarouselTM microwave ovens come with Express Cook which allows for 1-touch cooking from 1-6 minutes.


Something that has never been seen before in microwave technology is specialization. All microwaves have a POPCORN button, but most people don’t use it. In fact, most bags of microwave popcorn have instructions NOT to use the popcorn button!

Well, the SMC1132CS is one of three Sharp Carousel microwaves that are more than an excellent choice for reheating and everyday cooking, they are also specifically tuned to achieve optimal popping results from the leader in microwave popcorn, Orville Redenbacher’ s®. Each model was specifically tuned, tested, and certified for Orville Redenbacher’s ® Gourmet® Microwave Popping Corn to achieve optimal flavor, aroma and texture balanced against an acceptable number of unpopped kernels.

Yes, it does everything else you have come to expect from a microwave oven, but it is certified by Orville Redenbacher’s ® to achieve optimal popping results.

Bonus Features

Bonus features for your microwave - Microwave Oven Buying Guide for Beginners

If you’re like me and enjoy experimenting with kitchen appliances and use your microwave to prepare entire meals, you will want to look for a unit with the latest innovations and more variable features.

One of the newest features on the Sharp® Carousel TM microwave ovens is Melt. More advanced than the Soften feature, the Melt feature is tuned to quickly melt cheese, chocolate, or soften butter and ice cream.

If you are a recreational baker like I am, this feature is a time-saver for sure. When I am looking to top my creations off with chocolate-covered goodies, I quickly melt my chocolate with this feature. 

Featured in this Article

1.1 cu. ft. 1000W Sharp Stainless Steel Carousel Countertop Microwave Oven (SMC1132CS)

This mid-sized 1.1 cu. ft.* stainless steel Sharp Carousel microwave is more than a great choice for reheating and everyday cooking, it’s also specifically tuned to achieve optimal popping results from the leader in microwave popcorn, Orville Redenbacher’s(R).** Simply touch the “Popcorn” button on the SMC1132CS to choose the Classic Size (3.3 oz) or Single Serve Mini Bag (1.16 oz) of Orville Redenbacher’s(R) Microwave Popcorn. Then sit back and enjoy light and fluffy popcorn with the delicious, buttery flavor of Orville Redenbacher’s(R) Gourmet(R) Popping Corn.

The SMC1132CS is not just for popcorn. 1000 watts of power give you rapid reheating and fast cooking. Easy-to-clean stainless steel finish with scratch-resistant glass door complement your style. One-Touch controls, Auto Defrost and the Carousel turntable system make cooking and reheating faster and easier. It’s easy to see why home cooks throughout the world trust Sharp Carousel.

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Sharp’s top-of-the-line Microwave DrawerTM features Easy Wave Open for touchless operation. Simply wave up-and-down near the motion sensor and Microwave Drawer will glide open. With the touch of a button or a gentle nudge, our patented Easy Touch Automatic Drawer System smoothly closes the oven to avoid messy spills. And the SMD2480CS Sharp(R) Microwave DrawerTM stays closed when you walk by, so children and pets won’t accidentally open it.

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Focus on the design elements you prefer by removing the microwave from sightlines and enabling more design versatility. This 24 inch Microwave DrawerTM offers flexible placement options below an island, peninsula or standard cabinetry, or can be installed below your wall oven. The SMD2470AS Microwave DrawerTM allows you to showcase your design savvy and create a kitchen that flows with your lifestyle.

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24 in. 1.2 cu. ft. 950W Sharp Easy Open Stainless Steel Microwave Drawer Oven (KB6524PS)

Innovative thinking led to the world’s first Microwave DrawerTM Oven, an appliance that has helped revolutionize kitchen design and microwave oven placement. Now Sharp introduces the next generation of this successful appliance – larger, sleeker and more accessible than ever. The new KB-6524P series fits in the same space as other Sharp 24-inch models, yet it’s larger 1.2 cubic feet interior is tall enough to hold a 20 oz. cup from your favorite take-out coffee store. Plus, there are two convenient ways to open or close the drawer – either pull or push the Easy Open handle or simply touch the Auto-TouchTM control panel.

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1.5 cu. ft. 900W Sharp Matte Black Carousel Convection Microwave Oven (SMC1585BB)

Combination 1.5 cu. ft.* black Carousel(R) convection and microwave oven gives you the best of both worlds. Convection technology gives you perfect roasting, baking and browning while the microwave provides the speed you desire. 900 watts of power give you rapid reheating and fast cooking. Easy-to-clean matte black finish with scratch-resistant glass door complements your style.

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About Sharp Home Electronics Company of America (SHCA)

SHCA is the US Consumer Products Group of Sharp Electronics Corporation, the US sales subsidiary of Sharp Corporation, a worldwide developer and manufacturer of one-of-a-kind premium technology products.  SHCA includes the manufacturing of premium home appliances in Memphis, TN, together with the sales & marketing, and servicing of home electronics based in Montvale, NJ.  Leading products include Sharp AQUOS™ TVs, Sharp Carousel®, Microwave Drawer™ ovens, SuperSteam+™ ovens, and Plasmacluster® Ion air purifiers.

Sharp Corporation appears on Fortune’s World’s Most Admired Companies for 2023. Sharp Electronics Corporation received a 2023 award for Best Places to Work in NJ. Learn more at http://www.sharpusa.com/.

Sharp, AQUOS, Carousel, Microwave Drawer, SuperSteam+, Plasmacluster, and all related trademarks are trademarks or registered trademarks of Sharp Corporation and/or its affiliated companies. All other trademarks are the property of their respective owners.

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